The hate for Jeff Van Gundy as a Rockets coaching candidate is unfair
The Houston Rockets organization is falling apart in front of our eyes. Mike D’Antoni has left, Daryl Morey is leaving, and the Russell Westbrook trade has left them tapped out of assets for improvement. Houston is still in search of a head coach and several names have been brought up and a few have even had multiple interviews with the team.
Jackson Gatlin: I’m kind of leaning [towards] Jeff Van Gundy. I think there’s been a lot of pushback towards JVG on social media and I really don’t think it’s deserved. I’ve been trying to provide a little bit of context as to his first trip here in Houston, his first stint here. The fact that he wasn’t able to really get anything done in the playoffs his first time around. … Looking at his numbers from his first stint here in Houston, what encourages me the most is that his teams during those first four years, they were never worse than the sixth-best defense in the NBA. The thing is, the two years where he did have a healthy trace McGrady and a healthy Yao Ming, he had a middle of the pack offense. It was the 15th best-rated offense in the NBA. …
My biggest thing is that any team with James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the floor for that team offensively is at least top 10. That’s if you’re keeping James if you’re keeping Russ if you’re keeping everything as it is and essentially just running it back by adding a few more players on the margins. You’re probably bringing in a legitimate center because Lord knows Jeff Van Gundy is not going to run a defense without a legitimate center. I don’t think he’s that evolved, judging by his time with USA Basketball. Just running it back as is I think the Rockets can essentially coast on what they have offensively and still be a top 10 offense and if JVG can suddenly catapult them from a middling defense to a top 10 defense, then that team suddenly becomes really interesting. I think he’s the candidate that gets that done.
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